Stress sometimes produces odd markers.  My stress marker apparently is clenching my teeth.  It is a bad idea.  I ended up at the Dentist’s office while Mary Ann was in her Tuesday morning group.  The good news is that the pain is apparently not signaling an abscess.  No root canal!  Yeah!  The bad news is that I am wearing though the surface of my teeth, even some crowns.  It does not bode well for the future.  There are likely to be expensive sittings in a dental chair coming at some time.  For now, a night guard is the weapon of choice for trying to stave off major work for as long as possible.

While there are some obvious stress producers in our current situation, I suspect the problem would be the same no matter what the source of the stress.  The threat of many thousands of out of pocket dental expenses is a strong motivation to use the night guard regularly.

Today was a better day for Mary Ann.  She slept very well last night.  She was alert and participated in her Tuesday morning group.  Volunteer Scheduler Mary took us out to Boss Hawg’s Barbecue for lunch in honor of Mary Ann’s (5/15) and my (4/14) birthdays.  What a treat!  Mary Ann ate lots.  She needed help after a while, but she stuck with it until the food was almost all gone.

Hospice Nurse Emily came by this afternoon.  Mary Ann’s vitals were all fine, but her blood pressure was low this time, 108/64.  Emily commented that she never knows where Mary Ann’s BP will be when she takes it.  Mary Ann is always an interesting and entertaining patient to any health professional who takes care of her.  She is never boring!  I can’t remember what exactly it was she said when getting up from the toilet stool once today, but it was one of her smart aleck comments that brought laughter from both of us.

I talked with the Hospice Nurse about my considering returning the Midodrine to the meds to see if our quality of life might return to something closer to what we had six months ago when Mary Ann took it daily.  It is the med that raises her BP to levels that are not good in the long run.  Since quality is more important to both of us than quantity of days it seems like a reasonable option.  It is within the range of options acceptable to the Cardiologist.  When I talked with Mary Ann about it later on in the day, she said that she didn’t really want to change anything.  She feels it is all working well now.  Looking at it from my direction, it doesn’t seem that it is working well.  On the other hand, it is her body into which the meds are going.  For now, I won’t press the issue.

There were a couple of deck times today and another chapter in the book on St. Patrick’s morning prayer.  This chapter, “Christ Before Me” as well as the one I read yesterday, “Christ Behind Me” have both been thought provoking and comforting.  Maybe more deck time and devotional reading will help reduce the teeth clenching.

Parish Nurse Margaret stopped by with some fresh asparagus from her garden, which I added to the bratwurst and sweet potato fries we had for supper.

All in all, today the scales balanced in favor of clarity and good communication.  There were some times of confusion, but they were less prominent than the last couple of days.  Mary Ann has been especially restless tonight.  It is very late and she still seems to be awake and moving around.  While that does not bode well for tomorrow, tomorrow will speak for itself.

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